Moonlight Blu-ray Review

Moonlight Blu-ray

Ralph Potts reviews this critically acclaimed drama that tells a timeless story of human connection, and self-discovery.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2016
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Mahershala Ali, Naomi Harris
Written & Directed by: Barry Jenkins
Music by: Nicholas Brittel
Region Code: A

Release Date: February 28, 2017

“This is the Story of a Lifetime”

My Take:

Written and directed by Barry Jenkins and based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s autobiographical play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”, Moonlight chronicles the life of Chiron, a boy growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami, Florida. At once a vital portrait of contemporary African American life, and an intensely personal, and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship, and love.

Nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and the Golden Globe recipient for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Moonlight is an urban drama that chronicles 1 lifetime, as told in three distinct parts. Wow. What a profoundly moving portrait, that tackles difficult subject matter, through the eyes of young boy, through to young adulthood, as he copes with the life he was dealt, as well as the struggle for identity, under the most difficult of circumstances. Writer/Director Barry Jenkins paints in fine strokes as we are able to empathize with and see Chiron as a viable human being, reaching out in the hopes of finding the one thing that seems to elude him (you’ll have to see the film, sorry).

Steeped in emotion, there is a rawness here that speaks to the human condition from a perspective, that may not seem like it on the surface, but has universal themes that resonate. I love the concept, and shape of the narrative, as it takes us through the three stages of Chiron’s life, using subtly different subtext, and three different actors. Each of them lending an authenticity that underscores storyline and its impact. Moonlight is a poignant testament to the moments, people, and unknowable forces that shape our lives. It’s a compelling, evocative, and indelible film that is deserving of the accolades that it has thus received.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some sexuality, drug use, teen bullying, brief violence and language throughout.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element):

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Moonlight comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.

This is a pleasing video presentation that boasts plenty of refinement, stable contrast, vivid color, and strong dimension. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are film like, and perfectly suited for the source material.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and discernible channel separation which enable the detection of subtle nuance within the recording. Dialog is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren’t noteworthy but the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the low-level bass associated with the music score/soundtrack.

Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Barry Jenkins
  • (HD) Ensemble of Emotion: The Making of Moonlight – 21 minute featurette
  • (HD) Poetry Through Collaboration: The Music of Moonlight – 10 minute featurette
  • (HD) Cruel Beauty: Filming in Miami – 5 minute featurette
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Written/Directed by Barry Jenkins and nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Moonlight is a compelling, evocative, and indelible film that is a poignant testament to the moments, people, and unknowable forces that shape our lives. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring solid technical merits mated with a fair supplemental package. Moonlight is a must see for discerning genre fans, and deserves a place at the very top of your Blu-ray rental queue.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package